Brazil import quota for U.S. wheat could come with Bolsonaro visit -source
By Lisandra Paraguassu
WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) - Brazil is considering
granting an import quota of 750,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat per
year without tariffs in exchange for other trade concessions,
according to a Brazilian official with knowledge of the
negotiations ahead of President Jair Bolsonaro's visit to
That is about 10 percent of Brazilian annual wheat imports
and is part of a two-decades-old commitment to import 750,000
tonnes of wheat a year free of tariffs that Brazil made during
the World Trade Organization Uruguay Round of talks on
agriculture but never adopted.
Bolsonaro is scheduled to arrive in Washington on Sunday and
meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on
Farm state senators have asked that wheat sales be on the
agenda, in a letter to Trump seen by Reuters. They estimate such
a quota would increase U.S. wheat sales by between $75 million
and $120 million a year.
Brazil buys most of its imported wheat from Argentina, and
some for Uruguay and Paraguay, without paying tariffs because
they are all members of the Mercosur South American customs'
union. Imports from other countries pay a 10 percent tariff.
The Brazilian official, who asked not to be named so he
could speak freely, said the wheat quota could be sealed during
a meeting between Brazil's Agriculture Minister Teresa Cristina
Dias and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Tuesday.
In return, the Brazilian government is hoping to see
movement toward the reopening of the U.S. market to fresh beef
imports from Brazil that were shut down after a meat-packing
industry scandal involving bribed inspectors.
Brazil is also seeking U.S. market access for its exports of
limes that are facing phytosanitary certification hurdles.
The world's largest sugar producer also wants tariff-free
access to the U.S. market. But Washington is not expected to
budge on that issue until Brazil lifts a tariff it slapped on
ethanol imports when they exceed 150 million liters in a
That is a major demand by U.S. biofuels producers who are
the main suppliers of ethanol imported by Brazil.
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu
Writing by Anthony Boadle; editing by Bill Berkrot)
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